IPD started as a national network in 1993, growing to a membership of more than thirty organisations active in youth and adult education. Due to funding constraints in the earlier years the organisation decided to focus its work in rural and peri-urban areas of the Eastern Cape Province. IPD defines itself as a Human Rights organisation that addresses socio-economic issues through community adult learning and education. Its work has focused on community health, addressing youth unemployment and gender-based violence. IPD also works to strengthen capacity and develop rights awareness of communities and local structures through adult education. IPD is a long-standing partner working with DVV since 1999. In the recent period, IPD has also partnered with Popular Education Programme (PEP) and Sikholo to promote popular education and co-operative development in the Eastern Cape. IPD has also developed the poverty alleviation capacity of emerging rural cooperative members who seek to use their agricultural and garment-making craft to ward off extreme poverty faced by rural communities.